President Chen Shui-bian agreed this week to hold a recount of the tally from last weeks national election, which appeared to give him a narrow win for a second term. After the vote, supporters of challenger Lien Chan thronged the streets for days, demanding that Chen step down. They claimed that an apparent attempt on Chens life just days before the election, in which he reportedly sustained a gunshot wound to the stomach, had been staged to win him sympathy votes. Chen has been further weakened by the failure of a referendum he had championed, which sought approval to bolster Taiwans defenses against China. The measure was ruled invalid because fewer than 50 percent of voters participated.